Ellen G. White Writings

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Daniel and The Revelation, Page 416

resurrection of Christ, we read: “And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matthew 27:52, 53. Thus the answer to our question comes back, gathered unmistakably from the sacred page. These are some of those who came out of their graves at the resurrection of Christ, and who were numbered with the illustrious multitude which he led up from the captivity of Death’s dark domain when he ascended in triumph on high. Matthew records their resurrection, Paul their ascension, and John beholds them in heaven, performing the sacred duties which they were raised up to accomplish.

In this view we are not alone. Wesley speaks as follows concerning the four and twenty elders: “‘Clothed in white raiment.’ This, and their golden crowns, show that they had already finished their course, and taken their places among the citizens of heaven. They are never termed souls, and hence it is probable that they had glorified bodies already. Compare Matthew 27:52.”

The particular attention of the reader is asked to the fact that the four and twenty elders are said to be seated on thrones. Our translation, it is true, reads “seats;” but the Greek is, “thrones;” and so the Revised Version reads: “And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones, and upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting.” This passage, consequently, throws light on the expression found in Daniel 7:9, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down.” These are the same thrones; and, as has been shown in comments upon that passage, the meaning is not that the thrones were overturned, or cast down, in the ordinary sense of that expression, but placed, or established; and the figure is taken from the Eastern custom of casting down, or placing, mats or divans for distinguished guests to sit upon. These four and twenty elders (see on chapter 5) are supposed to be assistants of Christ in his mediatorial work in the sanctuary on high: and when the judgment scene described in Daniel 7:9 commenced in the

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